Snoop Dog delivers with help from Method Man and Redman

A review of Snoop Dog with Method Man and Redman at the House of Blues on November 1, 2009

, Staff

If the Westminster Dog show had a rap breed, what kind of rap genealogy would Snoop Doggy Dog fall under? His papers would surely trace his ancestry back to early gangster rap influences like N.W.A and Dr. Dre. However, there are signs of so many other musical characteristics in Snoop’s style. If you look closely you can see a bit of John Shaft in Snoop as well. When he takes the stage, Snoop displays a cool saunter that makes him look like he is gliding. What ever category he would be placed, it would have to look at the funkiness that accompanies Snoop. This more than likely could probably be linked to the Parliament P Funk. Whatever it would be, the show at the House of Blues proudly portrayed his strong rap lineage. 

Snoop strolled onto the stage shortly after eleven sauntering to a funky beat being provided by his backup band. The band, comprised of a drummer, bassist, guitarist and keyboardist, laid down a red carpet of funk which served as catwalk of sorts for Snoop. Snoop knew that people where there to not only hear his smooth, melodic delivery of classic rap tunes but, also to catch a glance of the essence of what is Snoop.

He did not disappoint as his keyboardist dropped into a beat that echoed the string beat from “Still D.R.E.”. Snoop swayed and swooned his way through that track and into his remixed version of 50 Cent’s “P.I.M.P” After pausing for a brief moment to address the crowd his band jumped right into that unmistakable boom bap of “Gin and Juice” It was a cavalcade of Snoop’s greatest hits and the crowd loved it as they waved their W-contorted fingers in the air. It had to be the essence of Snoop.

Snoop had brought some friends along on this tour. It seems as though Snoop had an affinity for 90s rap and wanted to bring back some of that flavor to his tour. Kurupt Young Gotti and Daz Dillinger a.k.a. Tha Dogg Pound joined Snoop on stage to perform “New York New York” along with some other classic DPG hits. What really stole the show was when Snoop introduced his homegirl Rage to the stage. The Lady of Rage had not been heard from on the rap scene in years but, yet there she was performing her biggest hit “Afro Puffs” for a stunned and appreciative hip-hop crowd.

Keeping in line with his 90s theme Snoop made sure to take time out of his show to pay tribute to a fallen friend, Tupac Shakur. The band transitioned from Pac’s “Hail Mary” and “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” into one of Snoop’s earliest and greatest tracks, “Deep Cover”. That low and heavy bass was unmistakable as Snoop knocked that track through the roof! The show continued on with Snoop providing more and more evidence that he is, in fact, a true hip-hop pedigree.

So how would you categorize Snoop Dog if Westminster did have a rap category? Judging by his strong rap lineage, the noticeable funk in his stage presence and his gritty and melodic delivery, there would have to be only one sentiment that would ring true: Best in show.

Any promoter could have easily juxtaposed Snoop and his opening act. The reality of the situation is that both Method Man and Redman could have easily promoted a headlining tour of their own rather than forming an alliance with the Dogfather. Rather than striking out on their own, the Brick City’s Redman and Staten I’s Method Man decided to paint a far different picture than that of Snoop and his West Coast, funk-infused set. 

The best thing about covering hip-hop shows, aside from free tickets, is that a reporter has the opportunity to interpret the effectiveness of the picture painted by any given artist. Of course their paints are their words, their brush a microphone but reporting on how they apply their artistry to canvas, the crowd, is the accurate measure as to how well rappers have plied their craft. 

Now some hip-hop shows are Mona Lisas, meaning they are freshly unique in both their effectiveness and the sense of appreciation left on the viewer. On the other hand, there are certain shows that leave crowds feeling more like they just watched sidewalk artists paint pictures of dogs playing poker. How would you react if this reporter told you that on Sunday night at the House Of Blues, Redman and Method Man combined to not only create a lasting impression of true hip-hop showmanship but that they did it in the image of the Colossus of Rhodes?  Wait until you see the picture they painted.

Starting their set shortly after 9:15, Meth and Red greeted their fans standing atop speakers that adorned the front of the stage. Meth stood with arms crossed surveying the landscape while Red observed the crowd with arms raised. Both artists smiled as if they knew something the crowd didn’t. Grinning, both men jumped out of the painting and into the show.

Promoting their second collaborative album, Blackout 2, the duo performed a handful of new tracks including the crowd pleasing “A-Yo”. With DJ Dice providing the bass, Red had to stop the beats and address the crowd. He mentioned his affinity for the older, purer days of hip-hop. In his address Red brought special attention to the years 1994 and 1995 which ironically are when both men started to gain momentum in the rap world. Almost in tune with Red’s request, DJ Dice dropped into “Time for Sum Aksion” and the stage disappeared. All this reporter could see from the back of the HOB were thousands of hands and heads jumping in unison. The 90’s were back!

Method Man was not to be out done by his counterpart. Starting with a Wu Tang roll call, Method began to parlay Redman’s energy into his classic Wu Tang track “M-E-T-H-O-D M-A-N”. Once again this reporter’s view changed as I no longer saw only hands and heads but rather the whole stage as I had joined my fellow hip-hop heads in going back to ’94. The vibe was contagious as both artists emptied their pallet of tracks onto a more than welcoming canvas.

Method and Red did not paint in between the lines as their colors seamlessly moved from “How High” to “Bring the Pain” and “Da Rockwilder” to “All I Need” and faded into an interesting exercise of crowd participation. With Redman leading and Method Men acting as his hype man the two worked the crowd into frenzy as they performed ODB’s “Shimmy Shimmy Ya”. That classic three key piano intro had the crowd nodding and banging their heads away!
 
With Sunday cross fading into Monday, Red and Meth had to close out their set. After showering the Boston crowd with thanks and handshakes the dynamic duo tried to make sure that every fan left with a piece of the show…literally. After tossing stage towels and water bottles into the crowd it took little prompting for Redman to follow Method’s lead into the act of crowd surfing. A comedic and smile inducing sight for sure.

Their set ended as it started, a picture of both artists standing in observance of what they had created. Hopefully, like awe-inspiring paintings of the Colossus, Redman and Method Man will stand as ancient wonders of a purer hip-hop world.

 

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